Visual Arts in Longford
Cultural History, Famous Art Venues and Artists.

County Longford, Leinster Province,
Republic of Ireland.

Visual Arts in County Longford

One of the most central counties of Ireland, lying south of Leitrim and north of Westmeath in the province of Leinster, County Longford has a population of 31,068 and its capital is the town of Longford.

Early Visual Arts

Monastic remains at Ardagh (where St. Patrick appointed St. Mel one of the earliest Irish Christian bishops) suggest that early Christian art and scholarship flourished in medieval Longford, although there are no surviving illuminated manuscripts which are associated with the abbey.


For a list of national sites of
noted historical, architectural or
artistic significance, see:
Architectural Monuments Ireland and
Archeological Monuments Ireland.

Note: For an outline of Celtic culture
along with ancient artworks of the
Celts, see: Celtic Art. For details of
the earliest styles, which influenced
so many Irish metalworkers during
the renaissance of the early Christian
era, see: Hallstatt (c.800-450 BCE)
and La Tene (c.450-50 BCE).

Contemporary Arts

One of County Longford's most renowned Irish artists is the Portrait Painter and Muralist, Charles Cullen (b.1939). In addition, several Longford born professional artists have recently returned to set up studios in the county, which augurs well for the future of Irish art in Longford. (See also: the contemporary Longford-born abstract expressionist painter Zita McGarry Kelly. Names of these full-time artists may be obtained from the County Art Office on (043-40729). Local amateur art groups include:

- Brush Strokes Art Group Lanesborough (043-21764)
- Annaly Artists Longford (043-45064)
- Reflections Art Group Longford (043-22921)
- The Village Art Group Newtownforbes (043-24977)
- Ballymahon Art Group (09064-32203)
- Edgeworthstown Art Group (043-71801)
- Granard Art Group (043-86309)

Visual Arts Festivals and Events in Longford

The main annual visual art event in the county, is the Lough Ree Environmental Summer School & Arts Festival, staged during in Lanesborough, every summer. The consistent theme of the arts festival is how the local environment inspires and influences Irish painting and Irish sculpture. For details, phone: (043-27070). Other cultural events and arts festivals in Longford include: The Oliver Goldsmith Summer School (043-71448); The Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival (043-71801); and the 200-year-old Granard Harp Festival.

Longford Arts Program

The County Library, Art and Archives Services promotes a program of exhibitions, lectures and workshops for the visual arts. Other associations supported, include the Longford Camera Club (043-86706).

Longford Town Public Art and Planning Project

Longford County Arts Office supports Irish art by maintaining an innovative program to incorporate public art in urban planning. Successful public art projects include the Three Warriors sculpture of metal statues on the Dublin Road roundabout and the sculpture of Goldsmith "The Traveller" in the Main Street, Ballymahon.

Backstage Theatre and Arts Centre

Founded in 1995 and located in the Slashers GAA Complex, the Backstage Theatre is a community driven project designed to enhance the cultural infrastructure of the region. Its mission is to promote the development of the arts through a high quality, diverse and innovative program of community arts activities, and a platform for artists to present and display their work. Backstage Theatre is funded by the Arts Council and Longford County Council.

• For more about Irish culture, see: Ireland Visual Arts.
• For more about the historical heritage of the province of Leinster, see: Homepage.
• For a list of the top living painters in Ireland, see: Best Irish Artists/Painters.
• For details of art venues and museums in Ireland, see: Irish Art Galleries.

History of Irish Art
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